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We for She Kelowna

Mizuki Giffin, Student Life writer

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On April 13th, high school students from around the district are going to be coming to KSS for an event hosted by the KSS Global Awareness Club called “We for She Kelowna.” This one-day event, which started out as a simple idea, has turned into something much larger than what could have ever been imagined. It has gained province-wide attention, and the number of expected attendees has grown substantially. Articles about this event are appearing on prominent local news-source websites such as Castanet and The Capital News. So, what is all this hype about? What is We for She Kelowna?

The conference’s purpose is to inspire and empower, focusing especially on women in business. Guests will learn about a variety of important topics, including diversity, unconscious bias, leadership, and understanding the need for gender equality in the workplace, and will be surrounded by strong, successful businesswomen from the community while doing so. The club has worked hard to recruit inspiring women to speak at the event, one of whom being Olympic medalist Katrina Leblanc, the longest-standing player from the Canadian women’s national soccer team. Katrina Leblanc, alongside 6 other equally as empowering and successful keynote speakers, will inspire listeners into seeing the potential of women in the next generation. This conference will also include workshops and group discussions led by local businesswomen.

In a rapidly more progressive society, women fighting for a voice and for equality has grown extremely prevalent. Changes are being made, and opportunities that females are given today are substantially better than those of the past. Yet, just because things are better, that doesn’t mean that they are perfect. Statistics from February of 2017 reveal that the full-time average weekly ordinary earnings for women is 16.0% less than that of men, and only 16.3% of CEOs are female. It is crucial for young women to understand that despite these statistics, they can do anything; that gender shouldn’t define success. This conference is a place where high-school students with big dreams will be shown that these dreams are attainable, and nothing as trivial as gender should inhibit them.

Juliet Watts and Caitlin Kingsmill, both grade 12 students at KSS, are the main organizers for this event. The amount of work they have put into it is truly admirable, and this work hasn’t gone unnoticed. The premier of British Columbia, Christy Clark, invited the two to Victoria on International Women’s Day to sit down and talk about the work they’ve done. She also spoke directly to the guests of We for She in a video that is to be shown at the conference. All members of the group have put countless hours into the event, and there is still a lot of work to be done. However, in the end, all this work will result in a memorable and life-changing experience.

There is only a limited amount of spots, so if you are interested in attending, it is important that you get a ticket as soon as possible. KSS students can go to Ms. Hazel’s room at lunch anytime this week to sign up, and students from any other high school in the district can go to their administrators for more information. An entrance fee of $10 is required, which provides a lunch. Whether or not you are interested in business, this event will be an incredible experience. The Global Awareness Club has put so much hard work and passion into ensuring its success, and we look forward to meeting students from around the district who are equally as passionate about gender equality. This event is about inspiring, empowering, and understanding. It is about celebrating the future and recognizing that being female doesn’t have to be a limiting factor to success. Most importantly, it is about coming together to celebrate women; we for she. We hope to see you there.

 

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We for She Kelowna